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  • Lani Hansen

"Keetoowah Forever" Celebration Details Released

Updated: Oct 3, 2018

The UKB Stomp Grounds located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, will host several dancers during Celebration activities on Oct 5. ARCHIVE/GCN



TAHLEQUAH – The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians invites its members and the public to join us at the 68th Annual Keetoowah Celebration on October 5-6.

“For 68 years the Keetoowah Celebration has occurred during the first weekend in October, honoring October 3, 1950 when the United Keetoowah Band became federally recognized,” said Travis Wolfe, executive assistant to the chief.

“This time signifies not only our recognition as a united band, but the struggles that the Keetoowah have encountered and overcome," he said. "We have fought against white assimilation and still, today we face adversity and we fight for one another to keep our band united. It is my hope that the warrior mentality we have always had will continue today and in the generations of Keetoowahs to come.”

Celebration will take place on the UKB grounds and officially kicks off with the annual Miss and Jr. Miss Keetoowah pageant on September 28.

On October 5 a stomp dance and chili dinner will take place, followed by a full day of traditional and family friendly activities on October 6.

UKB Chief Joe Bunch will also make his State of the Nation address at 12 p.m., followed by a free traditional meal at 1 p.m.

The theme for this year’s Celebration of “Keetoowah Forever” was inspired by Marvel Studios’ blockbuster hit “Black Panther,” according to Wolfe.

“These people reflect the pride and honor they feel as clans and as a tribe, thus, acknowledging their identity and empowering their generations,” he said. “Apart from the supernatural abilities and heightened technology, being Keetoowah feels the same way. We are the descendants of a distinct group of peoples; traditionalists, warriors, and those seeking refuge away from encroaching assimilation. Our ancestors banded together to ensure our survival and continuing traditions not just for tomorrow, but forever.”

For more information or to register as a vendor or volunteer, contact Wolfe at 918-871-2800 or email


Friday, September 28

7 pm 2018-2019 Miss and Jr. Miss Keetoowah Pageant

Friday, October 5

7 pm Stomp Dance & Chili Dinner

Saturday, October 6

7 a.m. Children’s Fishing Derby

7:30 a.m. Chief’s Breakfast - by invitation only

10 a.m., 11 a.m. Volleyball Registration & Volleyball Tournament

10 a.m., 11 a.m. Horseshoe Registration & Horseshoe Tournament

11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Arts & Crafts/Food Vendors

11 a.m. Children’s Activities

12 p.m. State of the Nation Address - Chief Bunch

1 p.m. Traditional Meal

1 p.m. Traditional games and demonstrations

1 p.m. Gospel Singing

1 p.m. Tradition Keepers Exhibit and Sale

5 p.m. Stickball Game



1 - Fishing Derby

2 - Public Parking Lot

3 - Overflow Parking Lot

4 - Stomp Dance Area

5A - Cornstalk Shoot Parking

5B - Cornstalk Shoot

6 - Marbles

7 - Chunkey

8 - Blowgun

9 - Stickball

10 - Pavilion

11 - Elder’s Tent

12 - Horseshoe Pits

13 - Volleyball

14 - Vendors

15- Kids Fun Area

16 - Employee and Vendor Parking

17 - Museum and Tradition Keepers

Red Star - Employee Volunteer Tent

Heart - Nurse’s Station

Policeman - Lighthorse

People Icons - Restrooms



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